Home sport American freestyle skiing world champion Kyle Smein dies in an avalanche in Japan

American freestyle skiing world champion Kyle Smein dies in an avalanche in Japan

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American professional skier Kyle Smein was one of two men killed in an avalanche on Sunday while skiing in Japan. He was 31 years old.

Police confirmed to Reuters that the two men who died were among five avalanche victims while on a ski tour on Mount Hakuba Norikura in Nagano Prefecture, which hosted the 1998 Winter Olympics. Rescuers found their bodies during a search on Monday, the Japan Daily reported. Times. According to the report, the other three of the party survived. Authorities issued an avalanche warning in the area after heavy snowfall.

The US Ski Team confirmed Smaine’s death in a statement on Instagram. The identity of the second man who was killed was not disclosed.

“Today we lost an amazing person, friend, skier and teammate,” the statement read. “Kyle Smein was a world champion freestyle skier, loved exploring the mountains, was a fierce competitor but an even better person and friend. We, along with so many others, send our love and comfort to his family, friends and community.”

Smaine’s father, William Smaine, has also been confirmed dead to NBC News. Smaine’s wife, Jenna Dramise, posted a tribute to her late husband on Instagram on Monday.

Smaine posted a video from a ski slope in the hours leading up to his death along with a message about his journey.

“This is what brings me back to Japan every winter,” Little Books. “The snow quality is incredible, the storms relentless and the really fun terrain seems to be getting better and better in the meantime.” [sic] More exploration you do. »

Expressions of appreciation poured into the comments section of Smaine’s post as well as those announcing his death.

Smaine was from Lake Tahoe, California. He won a gold medal in halfpipe at the 2015 Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in Austria.

Kyle Smein, seen here at the 2018 FIS Freeski World Cup in Mammoth, California. (Sean M. Hafey / Getty Images)

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